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Diplocaulus prehistoric amphibians

Diplocaulus prehistoric amphibians

E445/0307

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Credit

CHRISTIAN DARKIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CHRISTIAN DARKIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Diplocaulus prehistoric amphibians. Artwork showing Diplocaulus amphibians next to a pond. This extinct genus lived around 270 million years ago (late Permian period). They were distinguished by a boomerang shaped, flattened head formed by two elongated bones. They grew to 1 metre long and had four short legs, and a short flattened tail. It is thought the unusual shaped head may have acted as a hydrofoil, helping Diplocaulus to swim against the current. Another use for such a large head would be to deter predators that may not be able to fit Diplocaulus into their mouths. Like all amphibians, they had to live near the water since their shell-less eggs must be laid in water (or very damp areas).

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